Santa Barbara Family Law Attorney Assisting You with Spousal Support
Sound legal counsel for spousal or partner support in California
During the divorce proceeding, as well as after, you may be required to pay spousal support to your former spouse. In a traditional divorce, this type of support is a court-ordered monthly financial payment by one spouse to the other. In domestic partnerships, the same type of payment is called partner support. In both cases, the parties may agree or a judge decides which party must pay and how much. At McCleary (Mac) H. Sanborn, III, Attorney at Law I draw on my years of experience handling California divorces to help you obtain the support you and your family need.
Who is eligible for spousal or partner support?
Any married couple or domestic partnership going through an annulment, legal separation or divorce can be eligible for spousal support. A spouse who has placed a restraining order on his or her partner is also eligible to apply for spousal support, or may be required to pay spousal support.
How is spousal support calculated?
The amount and duration of spousal support payments are determined by a judge based on factors including:
- The standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage or partnership
- The length of the marriage or partnership
- Whether or not there is a history of domestic abuse in the marriage or partnership
- The age, health, education and income of the spouses
How do I begin the process of receiving spousal or partnership support?
There are a number of forms which must be filled out and filed with the court. At the commencement of the divorce preceding you may file for spousal or partnership support. A knowledgeable and experienced family law attorney makes this process much easier. When I represent you, I ensure you fill out the appropriate forms on time so that you can receive the support you need.
Spousal support enforcement and modification
Some of the most commonly asked questions regarding spousal or partnership support include:
- When does spousal or partnership support end? — Spousal or partnership support typically ends when a judge rules that it should: with the death of a spouse or when the partner who has been receiving the support is remarried or begins a new domestic partnership
- What happens if I don’t pay? — Failure to pay court-ordered spousal or partnership support can have serious consequences including interest accruement, wage garnishment and, in severe cases, contempt of court and incarceration
- Can my spousal or partner support agreement ever be modified? — Yes, in certain situations, a support agreement can be modified. These situations include a substantial change in income for either spouse or if a judge rules the spouse receiving the support does not seem interested in becoming self-supporting
- How do I change my spousal support? — To change your spousal or partnership support, you must attend court hearings and submit a number of forms to the clerk of your county superior court. An experienced family law attorney can be a tremendous help throughout this complex process